The application bundle was built on the following system:

OS name: Mac OS X

OS architecture: ppc

OS version: 10.3.4

Java version: 1.4.2_03

Java runtime version: 1.4.2_03-117.1

It might not work on other systems! (Please let us know if it does).

It has been reported to work also on 10.2.8, it probably works whenever there is a Java implementation > 1.4.1 available.

(If it does not work, try to copy the JavaApplicationStub file from



If that does not help, use the binary .jar file.)


If you are not sure if JaxoDraw is doing what it is supposed to do, try to run the program from the command line ("open -a" or "java -jar JaxoDraw.jar"), if indeed there is something wrong, you should get some (hopefully helpful) error messages. Error messages also seem to be tracked in the system log, as displayed in the program Console (in Applications/Utilities), when there are any.



The axodraw.sty file has to be installed before running an internal latex compilation, otherwise the program will hang. The easiest way is to put it into


where it should be found by latex (create this directory if it does not exist).

Printing or exporting to postscript/EPS does not work if a postscript text is present in the graph (see bug #25).

The Watch-file mode does not seem to work (using "open" for default application).

The grid is somehow tilted on Macs: it always looks hexagonal. It is only the visible pattern of points on the canvas that is not correct, if you switch on the grid, the points you can draw on are correct.

Some funny things sometimes happen with postscript texts when they are edited/deleted. Refreshing the screen sometimes helps (but not always).


Issues with the one-button mouse (a/c = Apple/Command, alt = Option):

To group:

  • with group button: mark objects to group, then press a/c and mouse button
  • with grey-box: you have to be in an edit mode (where red squares are visible on objects), then press alt and drag the mouse, if you release the mouse button before alt, the objects within the grey box will be grouped, if you release alt first, the objects will be copied to the clipboard (they can then be pasted into another tab with the paste button or alt-V)

To copy to clipboard: see above.

Right button pop-up windows: press a/c and click (for instance on vertex button, grid button, canvas tab).

The MacOSX native Aqua Look&Feel has a few quirks, two that we are aware of:

  • The FileChooser does not present a text field. This is disturbing in the Save-as dialog, because the user cannot enter a new file name (if a text file exists already that can be overwritten, the user can click it and the graph is saved correctly).
  • The edit menu for postscript text objects does not allow to change the text size.

Both issues (and possibly others) can be worked around by temporarily changing to another L&F (Metal is recommended).

Internal latex compilation doesn't work if the z-shell or tcsh is used as default shell. I'm not sure about the exact reason, apparently the commands are executed in a shell that is not a log-in shell, so that some environment variables are not initialized. This does not happen with bash. If you are using z-shell or tcsh, you must know what to do to make it work! :) One workaround is to start the program from a login-in shell ("open -a" or "java -jar JaxoDraw.jar") instead of double-clicking the launcher.

David Sanders has privided the following information:

  • The program behaves the same under both Mac OS X 10.2.8 and 10.3.4.
  • From the command line, the LaTeX preview works fine and if the path to "latex", "dvips", and "gv" is set in the window that you launch it from, then just specifying "latex", "dvips", and "gv" in the options is sufficient (though you would need X11 running for "gv").
  • From the application launch mode, the only way I could get the LaTeX preview to work is to use either

    open -a  /Applications/MacGhostView/MacGhostViewX

    open -a  /Applications/iTeXMac


    open /usr/local/bin/gs

    as my postscript (actually eps) viewer. MacGhostViewX is Thomas Kiffe's shareware version of Ghostview, iTeXMac is a LaTeX GUI that is freeware under a GPL license. Using "open /usr/local/bin/gs" also launches "Preview" which converts the postscript to PDF (it opens a file called Jaxo_tmp.pdf). If one does not have, or want, X11 running then you could use

    open /usr/local/bin/gs-noX11

    which will launch "gs" in a "Terminal" window.

    All of these indicate that there is a difference in the login/profile used when opening a terminal (or Xterm) window and just being an ordinary "user".


For text editor and postscript previewer, you can just put "open", the default application will then be used. If you want to use a specific application, use eg "open -a /Applications/" for the text editor. The html browser field should be left blank, so that the java-internal browser is used (Safari does not support the jar protocol, see bug #24).

The paths to the latex and dvips executables are typically:




Many thanks to the people who helped bringing JaxoDraw closer to Mac users, in particular (no specific order):

Byron Jennings

Barry Davids

Warren Siegel

Mark Srednicki

David Sanders

Eric Swanson